The Best Locations For Water Photography

The majority of our planet is made up of water. As a result, we have thousands of opportunities for water photography, whether that is on the surface, underwater, from the air and from afar.

Of course though, the planet is huge and it can be quite tricky to know where the best locations for water photography are.

The Best Locations For Water Photography

Luckily though, we’ve done the hard work for you.

We’ve written this handy list that shows you the best locations for water photography and why you should head to them as soon as possible!

Ready to learn more? Then read on for all the answers!

1. Cornwall, United Kingdom


When it comes to places where you can take some of the most amazing water photos, you really cannot look any further than Cornwall in the United Kingdom.

Situated right at the southernmost tip of the country, Cornwall is famous for some of its locations with water.

Photographers all over the world should certainly consider visiting areas like Newquay, Penzance and St Ives for some incredible opportunities to capture the wonder and beauty that water offers.

However, arguably the best place to visit for such photographs is the Minack Theater.

This is a theater on a cliff that offers outdoor shows. With their use of lighting and the local marine life often making appearances, you will absolutely fall in love with this place for photos.

2. Upper Kachura Lake, Pakistan

Pakistan has plenty of places with fantastic water photography opportunities, but arguably the best place is Upper Kachura Lake.

The lake is huge and the surroundings offer some excellent contrasting colors – perfect for still water imagery.

Beautiful reflections of the mountains and rocks in the water are something that you will find difficult to replicate in other areas in the world.

As the area is naturally dry, this huge body of water is like finding an oasis – perfect for any water photographer.

3. Raja Ampat, Indonesia

While actually getting to Raja Ampat could prove a little difficult, if you manage to make it here – you certainly won’t be disappointed.

It’s located right in the heart of the Coral Triangle which is an archipelago filled with corals, underwater caves and lots of marine life.

Wide-angle photographers and macro photographers will find their niche here and as the area is perfect throughout the year, planning is not so much of an issue.

Traveling around the area requires liveaboards – but this provides you plenty of room for excellent photos.

4. Vava’u,Tonga

The South Pacific is known for its vast areas of water (see also “How To Capture The Beauty Of Water Scenes“), and within, you’ll find thousands of active marine life animals like humpback whales, which often will surface – which is ideal for a great picture!

However, to get these kinds of photographs, you’ll need to plan ahead. This area of Tonga to spot the whales needs to be visited between July and October.

You can then decide what kinds of photographs you want to capture.

If you get the right gear, you can dive underneath the surface and shoot some beautiful images of the wonders of water and its life beyond what we usually see.

However, you can capture the glory of water right from the land too (see also “Water Photography Techniques For Beginners“).

5. Reynisfjara, Iceland

There are various locations in Iceland where you can capture some of the most incredible water photographs – but Reynisfjara makes the list for some of its unique features that photographers absolutely need to consider.

As the area is covered in black sands and often has quite dark and gloomy weather, there’s something extra special about the mood you can capture.

To get the best photographs here though, you should consider taking long distance images.

This will allow you to really capture the overall tone and darkness of the lands that connect with the powerful element of water.

6. Santorini Island, Greece

Greece is a country that is certainly famed for its geography.

An amalgamation of beautiful individual island groups and within each, you can find some excellent areas to take photographs of the water.

Santorini Island, and in particular, the famous Red Beach, is known for its volcanic sands which are pebbled with red and black rocks. It has a very unique circular shape that gives photographers a lot of options.

Some people love to get close and personal with the beach, whereas others prefer to take more aerial photos. Whatever your preferences are, you are certain to find some ideal opportunities here.

7. The Lake District, United Kingdom

As an island nation, the United Kingdom is a place you need to consider to get the best water photos.

However, in the North – you can find a collection of lakes within the National Park, all of which provide an excellent platform for water photography.

Indeed, this gem situated in Cumbria is excellent for stargazing and taking moonlit images from the water’s reflection.

Just be sure to get a boat and plan your journey accordingly to ensure the best conditions for your photographs!

8. Waimea Bay, Hawaii

The United States is huge and there’s plenty of places you may decide to visit to find excellent water photography opportunities.

But arguably the best state to head to is Hawaii for these kinds of photos.

With its unique geography, beautiful beaches, incredible conditions and unique marine life and plant life – you’re certain to find something to love.

However, Waimea Bay is probably the best place in Hawaii for it!

With waves that often are recorded higher than thirty feet tall, photographers who enjoy capturing the majesty of water crashing as a wave will be in the right place.

Not only that, but it’s a superb vacation spot – so that’s something to think about too!

9. Surfer’s Paradise, Australia

Along the Gold Coast of Australia, you will come across a favorite location for tourists known as Surfer’s Paradise.

As you can imagine, this is a chosen spot for surfers and this is due to the massive waves and perfect conditions for excellent water photography!

The area often has great white sharks and picturesque white sandy beaches, all of which make ideal photographs – but what some people often overlook is how gorgeous this area can be at night time.

So, if you’re something who is looking to capture the glory of waves during the cool evening, then this is the perfect location for you.

10. Nachi Falls, Japan

Located in Wakayama – Nachi Falls is a waterfall that flows right down off the cliff and past the man-made structures within the Kii Mountains. In fact, this waterfall is the largest unbroken waterfall in the entire world.

While this isn’t an ideal spot for every traveling photographer, it’s difficult to argue the beauty of the waterfall and how the structures built hundreds of years ago still remain intact are something to behold in the modern era.

11. Lake Louise, Canada

The turquoise waters of Lake Louise in the summertime are so spectacular that many people will never get to see, but if you have the opportunity to visit – you’re sure to capture the most incredible photographs of water.

But one of the best things about this area is that, even if you’re here during the winter – some amazing photographs can still be shot.

The winter allows you to explore your skills with the blankets of snow that form on the water (see also “How To Photograph Snow“), along with the eerie fog that accompanies it.

While many people might consider Niagara Falls to be the greatest body of water in Canada (and the US for that matter), Lake Louise has something a little different that Niagara Falls just doesn’t!

12. Reine, Norway

Scandinavia has to be high on your list when it comes to considering places to find excellent water photography opportunities, and within that – one of the most amazing places is Reine in Norway.

It’s a small, quaint fishing village but it’s the surroundings that make it so beautiful and special. Perhaps the best photographs are taken when the Northern Lights occur.

During the dark, the reflection bounces from the water and the background of the mountains is glorious.

Indeed, while it might not seem like a place for you on the surface, it hides plenty of special chances for photographs.

13. Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

Croatia has some interesting areas to visit and there’s certainly lots of places where you can take some excellent water photographs. However, our favorite has to be Plitvice Lakes.

With the mixture of the natural lighting and awe-inspiring plant life, you will certainly find your niche right here!

The Bottom Line

And that’s our list of the best locations for water photography!

We hope we’ve shown you some of the most amazing spots all over the world that you’ll love to visit for some amazing imagery!

Thank you for reading – and good luck with your photography!

Laura McNeill
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